Bobby’s – A department store with a unique style

Artificial floral raft planting Bobbys

After the collapse of Debenhams franchise Verve Properties acquired the iconic Bobby’s building in its prime location in the centre of Bournemouth town square. They set about reviving it with a vison to create a unique shopping experience with the local community at its heart. With a focus on working with local, independent and socially conscious brands the first phase of the regenerated building opened with a beauty hall, sushi restaurant, ice cream parlour and art gallery. 

There were three distinctive elements to the planting scheme that Bright Green created for Bobby’s. In the new beauty hall on the ground floor Verve wanted to introduce a softer less clinical look than the traditional beauty hall concept. We designed high level artificial raft planting with a core of greenery and seasonal floral elements, which were suspended from the centre of the hall. These lush rafts flood the expansive space with colour whilst retaining valuable retail floor space. The floral elements are interchangeable and can be replaced throughout the year with seasonal foliage to create an ever-changing and eye-catching landscape.  

With evidence mounting that biophilic design has a restorative and calming effect on shoppers, making them feel less stressed and boosting overall sales, the look and feel of a retail space can increase footfall and revenue. Read our blog on biophilic design for more insight into the benefits on integrating planting into your design schemes.

In the neighbouring ground floor DRGNFLY sushi restaurant bespoke built artificial pink cherry blossom trees with knarled black trunks were planted in troughs to create a delicate screen between diners and the beauty hall. Resembling aged bonsai trees this open wall of deep pink cherry blossom brings the magical colours of Japan to the dining experience whilst maintaining an atmospheric divide between the shopping and dining zones.  

 An underground walkway linking Bobby’s to Bournemouth Gardens has been reinstated complete with a Bright Green bespoke flower wall transforming the urban concrete tunnel into a much greener and inviting space. This instagrammable backdrop attracts visitors from the gardens into the walkway and in turn into the store. 

The newly launched store is opening in phases with the first-floor food and market hall set to open later in the year and further elements in 2022. Bright Green are enthused to continue working with Verve Properties as Bobby’s evolves and expands into the fresh and experimental shopping destination that is surely the future of bricks and motor retail.